The AFL blockbuster between Geelong and Richmond will have a huge say on the top four, and also the premiership hopes of both sides.
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick says there’s “no doubt” Geelong are premiership favourites, and he’s waiting to see whether calm or chaos prevails in Friday night’s AFL blockbuster.
The Cats are the form team of the competition after stringing together six straight wins, which included last week’s 66-point annihilation of Essendon.
Richmond are also in hot form with four straight victories to their name.
Friday night’s match between the two heavyweights at Metricon Stadium will have huge ramifications on the make up of the top four.
A win for Geelong would lock in a double chance.
If Richmond lose, they could miss out on a top-four berth even if they win their final-round match against lowly Adelaide.
Both teams are equal premiership favourites in most betting markets, but Hardwick reckons Geelong deserve to be rated in front.
“There’s no doubt about that,” Hardwick said.
“Looking at them and how they play, they’re really well-coached, and they operate efficiently.
“I don’t think they’ve lost in a long period of time, I can’t remember their last loss actually.”
The contrasting styles of the two sides will be a key drawcard.
“Basically, the game is going to come down to control versus chaos,” Hardwick said.
“Geelong are very much a controlled side, we’re sort of a chaos side.
“Defensively they’re very, very strong – we look at the way they play, time in possession’s a big one for them.
“They’re in terrific form – you’ve got to look at their game against the Bombers to see how damaging they can be offensively, (and they’re) very solid behind the ball as well.
“There’s two good sides who are going to have a fair dinkum crack at each other.”
The Cats recalled Zach Tuohy and Esava Ratugolea, while Richmond have been boosted by the return from injury of Dylan Grimes and Kane Lambert.